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DVLA Update Driver's Licence Phishing Scam

Outline
Email purporting to from the UK's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) claims that the recipient must follow a link to update driver's licence details or risk cancellation of his or her licence.



Brief Analysis
The email is not from the DVLA. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal personal information from recipients. Information collected may be used by Internet criminals to commit identity theft.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 4th February 2011
First published: 4th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Update Your License Details

We are currently upgrading our database and all drivers are required to update and verify there driver's license details.To complete your license verification with us, you are required to fill out the form in the link below.

[Link to bogus website removed]

Drivers that refuses to upgrade his or her details within two weeks of receiving this verification email will lose his or her driver's License and will have to take a fresh driving test. We sincerely apologise for any inconviniences this might have caused you.

Thank you for your co-operation.
(c) Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Swansea SA6 7JL




Detailed Analysis
This email, which claims to be from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), in the UK advises recipients that they must update and verify their driver's licence details within two weeks of receiving the message or risk losing their licence. The message instructs recipients to follow a link in order to complete the licence verification.

However, the email is certainly not from the DVLA and the claim that the recipient is required to verify his or her licence details is untrue. Those who follow the link in the message will be taken to a bogus website that has been designed to resemble the genuine DVLA website. Once on the fake site, the user is presented with a form that asks for driver's licence, name, address and other personal details. A screenshot of the fake DVLA form is shown below:

Bogus DVLA Verification Form



If a user enters the required details and clicks the "Submit" button on the bogus form, he or she will then be redirected to the genuine DVLA website. Meanwhile, any information submitted on the bogus website will be sent to the criminals running the phishing attack and may subsequently be used to commit fraud and identity theft. The DVLA has warned the public about this phishing scam via a notice on its website:
DVLA warns drivers of E-mail scam Release Date: 01/02/2011

The DVLA is today warning the public of an e-mail scam that asks drivers to verify their driving licence details via an online link. The e-mail, which wrongly claims to have been sent from the DVLA, appears to be an attempt to trick drivers into providing personal details.

DVLA's Corporate Affairs Director, David Evans said: "We are aware that some members of the public have received these e-mails and can confirm that they do not come from the DVLA. "We would strongly urge anyone in receipt of this or a similar e-mail to treat it with extreme caution and not to follow the instructions given."
Phishing scammers use many and varied tactics to trick victims into handing over their personal and financial details. Users should be very cautious of any unsolicited emails that claim to be banks, government departments or companies that claim that they must follow a link or open an attachment to update or verify account details.

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References
DVLA warns drivers of E-mail scam
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information



Last updated: 4th February 2011
First published: 4th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer